If you were hurt in a car accident in Maryland, you could have cuts, scrapes, broken bones, whiplash, or other injuries. Who will pay for your medical bills and other damages?
When someone else causes the accident, you may be able to receive damages in a car accident case. Read more about how to claim damages after a car accident below. If you have questions, contact a Baltimore, Maryland, car accident lawyer for assistance.
Possible Car Accident Damages
You can receive two kinds of damages in a Maryland car accident lawsuit. The first is economic damages, which include expenses that are simple to calculate, such as:
After a car accident, you could be out of work for days, weeks, or even months. Being without pay for more than a few days is difficult for many people. After two or three weeks with no paycheck, it may be challenging to pay the mortgage and keep the lights on.
Your attorney can seek lost earnings for the past and future in a lawsuit. If you’re seriously injured and will miss extensive work time, your attorney will rely on economic experts to determine how much money you need. This type of car accident damage also can have back interest payments.
Lost earning capacity
If you are permanently injured and cannot work, you could be entitled to payments for loss of earning potential. This amount can vary based on your work, education, and age. For instance, a cashier making $15 an hour who earns about the same amount year after year can be easy to calculate.
But your future pay could be challenging to determine if you have more skills. In this case, the attorney may hire an expert economist to determine your lost earning capacity for years.
Was your car damaged or totaled in the accident? You could receive property damage compensation to repair your vehicle. If you need a rental car for a few days or weeks, this amount also can be part of these damages.
The other is non-economic damages, which include:
Physical pain from your injuries
You can sue for damages for your pain and suffering from your injuries. This damage usually includes the pain and discomfort you endured in the past, present, and future. Many injured parties have severe pain and discomfort that extends for years or even life.
For example, a head, neck, or back injury can be excruciating and difficult to treat. You also could receive compensation for the mental suffering caused by your injuries. You may, for example, be depressed that you cannot run or bike anymore because of your back injuries. Your attorney will calculate what you should receive for that emotional pain.
Maryland Has A Cap On Noneconomic Damages
Maryland has a cap on pain and suffering damages you can recover in an accident claim. Non-economic damages may include the following:
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Physical disability
- Loss of equilibrium
These damages are considered noneconomic because they are unquantifiable. In Maryland, jurors are not told about the cap; instead, it is applied by the court, if needed, after a jury verdict.
The non-economic damages cap increases yearly based on when the loss occurred. For instance, if you were in a car accident on April 8, 2020, and filed the lawsuit on April 8, 2022, the cap would be based on April 8, 2020. In addition, there are caps for medical malpractice cases and all other civil claims.
As of October 1, 2022, the following non-economic caps are in place:
- $920,000 for the general cap
- $1,380,000 for wrongful death claims with multiple claimants
- $2,300,000 for wrongful death and survival
Because of the complexity of Maryland’s non-economic damages caps, this area of the law can be confusing. Speak to a Maryland personal injury attorney to learn about how the cap could apply to your case.
Who Pays For Your Damages?
In Maryland, the at-fault party is responsible for paying your economic and non-economic damages. As noted earlier, these damages may include medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost earnings, and more.
You can buy personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in Maryland that covers the initial $2,500 in bills after a car accident. This money is paid regardless of fault and is a convenient way to obtain a small amount quickly after an accident.
Your personal injury attorney can file a claim or lawsuit against the liable driver. However, the payout could take weeks or months, so having PIP insurance coverage can help in a pinch.
Car Accident Settlements
Your car accident lawyer may file a personal injury lawsuit for your bills and other losses. But most personal injury lawsuits end in a settlement. A settlement is how the plaintiff and defendant agree to resolve a case without the expense of a trial.
Why settle? First, most car accident victims need money for their bills and lost work time. It may be challenging to make ends meet when you cannot work. Taking a settlement means getting money in the bank faster.
Second, a car accident lawsuit can take months or years. Are you prepared to wait that long to get paid? Plus, you do not know what the jury will do. If they decide against you, you get nothing.
Third, avoiding a trial means fewer legal expenses. Up to 40% of your award may go to legal fees and costs. So, settling can be more economical.
The insurance company may decide to settle the case because they do not want the legal expenses of a trial. Plus, juries often look unkindly at insurance companies trying to stick it to injured clients. So the insurer could pay much more in a verdict award than a settlement.
Whether to settle or go to trial depends on the case. Your attorney will review your case with you and recommend the client settle the case for the highest amount possible. Some insurance companies may fight and offer a lowball settlement. Your attorney will be ready to go to court to fight for your car accident damages.
Contact Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers Today
Being hurt in a car accident is one of life’s most stressful and painful experiences. However, if another driver hits you, you can receive damages in a car accident lawsuit if another driver hits you.
Our Baltimore car accident lawyers at Pinder Plotkin are tough and aggressive. They will fight for every dime you deserve in economic and non-economic damages. Call Pinder Plotkin today for help, or use our online chat to ask questions.